One of my favorite movies of all time is Fried Green Tomatoes. Don't ask me why but I just think it is a great southern story not to mention Kathy Bates is one of my favorite actresses. There is a scene where after she finishes talking to Jessica Tandy's character, she just goes on spree and everything wacky she can do (including demolishing part of her home and a car crash) are blamed on Towanda. A great explanation is provided here: http://www.americanpopularculture.com/archive/film/towanda.htm.
Why am I bringing this up now? I am feeling a little bit like Kathy Bates' character in regards to David Gaughran in terms of the indie writers' community. He had a wonderful article about advanced funding and indie books. Here is Mr. Gaughran's take on it: http://indiereader.com/2011/10/crowdfunding-the-indie-advance/.
So what does this have to do with me you ask? Well, I have talked a lot about my new series, The Vamp Saga, and Death Wish: Book I, which comes out on Black Friday. This is a huge departure for me as I usually do women's literature (the few people who have actually read The Beautiful People series can attest it isn't erotica, even if it does have ridiculously sexy covers). I still like doing women's literature but I am having a lot of fun exploring the paranormal/urban fantasy/horror genres as well.
Death Wish is firmly paranormal/urban fantasy but my other series I am working on for NaNoWriMo, The Beginning: Book I (The Plague) is definitely urban fantasy/horror. Do I still have strong female characters? You betcha. Fine guys who are a dream to curl up with? Of course! A bit of romance just to ease up on the heart-pounding tension? Yep. They just aren't novels that would be described as women's literature in the least.
I have decided to try to get the funding for editing and marketing Death Wish by submitting a proposal to KickStarter. Mind you, they still have to accept but if they do, I am offering a wide arrange of gifts to people who choose to invest.
Here is my reward structure:
$5 or more (An e-book copy of Death Wish: Book I in any format)
$20 or more (An e-book copy of Death Wish: Book I and a signed paperback copy of Death Wish: Book I plus an e-book copy of any other book I have written of your choice).
$50 or more (An e-book copy of Death Wish: Book I and a signed paperback copy of Death Wish: Book I plus an e-book copy of The Beautiful People: Part I & II and an advance e-book copy of The Beginning: Book I from The Plague series due in February of 2012 and dedication in The Vamp Saga).
$100 or more (Everything above plus an advance e-book copy of The Beginning: Book I and The Catalyst: Book One in The Pop Stars series which premieres December of 2011 and an acknowledgment in Death Wish: Book I).
$500 or more (Everything above including advance copies of The Catalyst, The Beginning and Better off Dead in all in both ebook and paperback, and acknowledgment in all books in The Vamp Saga [10 total]).
They don't give you a lot of room to write so while I thought this was a bit vague, I will see what they come back with and whether they accept my project.
Yes, I know, it looks like I have too many irons in the fire but I promise everyone that I will never ever release a book that hasn't been read by editors and beta readers. Although I am working on two books, technically, I am spending all my time writing The Beginning at the moment. I have plenty of time to finish up Better Off Dead (the sequel to Death Wish) and The Catalyst: Book I (The Pop Stars) was written years ago but I still sent it to an editor to be polished to its personal best.
I write the same way everyone else does... one book at a time but I have had many of these ideas floating around my head for years. I know, I can hear it now: WHY do we need another vampire series?
Well, the world doesn't need anything but I do believe my series can add something fresh to an otherwise stale genre. Even if my project is turned down and doesn't meet Kickstarter's requirements, it is already in the works and it might take more time but I will accomplish what I need to do. I think ambition is a good thing but it can also be a very dangerous emotion because you have no idea what people are willing to do to drag themselves up by their bootstraps unless you are in their shoes.
I know what my life has been like and I don't blame any unfortunate events on anyone but myself. You live and learn. That is what makes life so great and unique. I don't want to dwell on the negative because life is too short. We should cherish the time we are given and try to make the most of it.
David is very successful in that he has managed to raise quite a bit of money. My goal is more modest, $900, as opposed to his 1500 euros. I truly think that is enough to get my product out there and to fund it properly, including marketing and enough copies to give away on Goodreads (I would like to give away 10 paperback copies in December for a Holiday season type of thing).
In the spirit of my novel, I release the cover I will be using (thanks to Athanasios... aka Tom of http://www.mad-gods.com/). I found the photos but Athanasios turned my vision into a work of art and for that, I thank him. I hope this has a domino effect and other indie writers try this as well. I don't look at this as an advance but an investment in my work. I am happy to share with anyone who believes in my project as much as I do but you never know until you try!
Towanda and Mr. Gaughran, you make me proud to say I have known of you and perhaps we will be around to see the ripple effect of one person's idea reverberate around the world.
***Quick Edit: My project was approved by Kickstarter and it is now live: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/deeblanchardbenson/death-wish-book-i-the-vamp-saga If any of you know anyone interested, please let them know. This could be a great future resource for us indie writers! ;-)